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Low ARPUs, growing competitive threats, and rival multiscreen services are driving many pay-TV providers in Europe and Asia to explore new business strategies in video services, according to research firm Parks Associates. A new report from Parks Associates, indicates multiscreen services now reach 66 per cent of pay-TV subscribers in Western Europe, 21 per cent in Eastern Europe, and 9 per cent in Asia, compared to 90 per cent in North America.
Many pay-TV providers are now leveraging their multiscreen services to offer OTT services to non-pay-TV subscribers. The UK satellite provider Sky is offering Sky Go, which features live TV and on-demand content, to non-Sky TV customers via PCs, smartphones, and tablets, with monthly subscriptions at £15-£40. Italian pay-TV providers Telecom Italia, Mediaset, and FastWEB, Romanian incumbent Romtelecom, UAE-based Etisalat, and South Korean cable operator CJ Hellovision have all launched video services that are available to anyone with a broadband connection. Operators with niche content, such as Telecom Serbia, have also launched new, local-language services to reach segments of consumers outside their home market.
“Now that Netflix has entered Europe and large players have acquired OTT services such as LOVEFiLM and Acetrax, the video services market will be increasingly competitive, forcing pay-TV providers to test new services and business models,” said Brett Sappington, Director, Research, Parks Associates. “Operators in Europe and Asia have dramatically increased their multiscreen offerings, and some are expanding into pure-play OTT services, with offerings available outside their network footprint.”
These efforts will increase as new OTT offerings throughout Europe, including Netflix and HBO, threaten operators’ premium TV revenues.